On Friday 1st April 2016, Marija and I made a bright and early start and we headed off for the Fleurieu Peninsula south of Adelaide. We had booked in to stay for 3 nights at Goondooloo Cottage in the Deep Creek Conservation Park and had plans to activate that weekend a total of six parks for the 3rd year anniversary of the VK5 National and Conservation Parks Award. Our first, and only activation for Friday was to be the Yulti Conservation Park, 5CP-261 and VKFF-1128.
Yulte Conservation Park is located about 60m south of Adelaide, and about 3 km south east of the town of Myponga.
Above:- Map showing the location of the Yulte Conservation Park, on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.
I have activated Yulti Conservation Park twice before, but this was to be my first activation of the park for the World Wide Flora Fauna (WWFF) program. The park had not been on the WWFF list during my two previous activations. So I was keen to get 44 QSOs.
Yulti Conservation Park is often referred to as Yulte Conservation Park on maps and various websites. The Department of Environment Water & Natural Resources (DEWNR) website lists the park spelling as Yulte. But the sign in the park itself shows the spelling as Yulti. The road leading up to the park is spelt as Yulte. The park derives its name from the Kauna aboriginal word ‘yulti’ meaning stringy bark.
The park is 41 hectares in size and consists of a series of hills and gullies. It is disected by several small creeks with gurgling waterfalls. The Heysen Trail passed through the dense overgrowth in the park.
As we drove along Pages Flat Road, the park soon came into view to our left across the cleared farming land.
We then turned left onto Barclay Road, and then right onto Rowley Road until we reached Yulte Road. The Fleurieu Milk & Yoghurt Company has their processing plant on this corner. We continued south along Yulte Road, which becomes Coopers Road. On maps, Cooper Road continues out to Trig Point Road (but in reality this is not the case). There is no vehicular access to the park from the Trig Point Road end.
Since last being at the park, it was evident that access up to the park sign was not possible, as there were a lot of tree branches down over Coopers Road (which is a 4WD track). We parked the car at the ‘turn around’ at the end of Yulte Road, just down from the property called ‘Highlands’, and started carrying the gear a short distance up the track to our operating spot.
Above:- Map showing our operating spot on the western side of the Yulte Conservation Park. Image courtesy of Location SA Map Viewer.
The track leading up to the park is quite a gentle slope and it is only a few hundred metres until you reach the park boundary.
As Yulte Conservation Park is located in the hills around Myponga, there are some very nice views to be enjoyed of the surrounding countryside if you get up high enough.
We were up on air by 9.50 a.m. South Australian local time. I headed to my nominated operating frequency of 7.144 and commenced calling CQ. This was answered by Mick in Stawell in western Victoria with a beautiful 5/9 plus signal. Mick kindly spotted me on parksnpeaks and this resulted in a mini pile up. My second caller was Don VK3MCK who had become a regular park hunter of late, followed by Graham VK2MGA who was mobile on the Hume Highway, and had a strong 5/9 signal from his mobile.
Fourteen contacts into the activation and I had my first ‘Park to Park’ contact for the activation. It was with Adrian VK5FANA who was operating portable in the Leven Beach Conservation Park, 5CP-117 and VKFF-0814, on the Yorke Peninsula (5/9 both ways).
I continued to work quite a pile up, with callers from VK2, VK3, VK4, VK5, and VK6 with many of the regular park hunters featuring, but also some new callers. I worked a total of 27 stations prior to the UTC rollover. There were some nice QRP contacts and they included Paul VK3DBP running 2.5 watts and who was a good 5/3. Also Amanda VK3FQSO running just 1 watt and who was 5/6. Amanda often runs QRP and is always very readable to me whilst I’m out portable.
After the UTC rollover I worked a total of 22 stations on 40m from VK2, VK3, VK4, and VK5. This included another ‘Park to Park’ contact with Adrian VK5FANA. Adrian stayed on the frequency with me, and we worked stations in tandem. A few more QRP operators called in, including Greg VK5GJ at Meadows (5/7), and Brian VK5FMID running 5 watts (5/8 sent), I lowered my power down to 5 watts and I dropped from a 5/9 to Brian, down to a 5/7, down to Mount Gambier, about 500 km to my south east.
I also tried 20m where I made a total of 5 contacts into VK2 and VK4. Rick VK4RF/VK4HA was about 30db over S9, and gave me 20/9. Other callers including Bill VK4FW, Geoff VK2WFF and Paul VK2PG running just 5 watts were also very strong. But despite the 20m band being in very good shape, there were very few callers.
We spent a little under 2 hours in the park, and a total of 53 contacts were in the log. Hopefully I had given some of the park hunters a brand new park, and I was pleased as I had qualified the park as an Activator.
The following stations were worked on 40m SSB prior to the UTC rollover:-
- VK5FANA/p (Leven Beach Conservation Park)
The following stations were worked on 40m after the UTC rollover:-
- VK5FANA/p (Leven Beach Conservation Park)
The following stations were worked on 20nm SSB:-
After the park activation we drove down into the little town of Myponga and went to the Smiling Samoyd Brewery for lunch and some refreshments. We started off with Arancini balls (containing rice, cheese & pumpkin), followed by a wood fired pizza. BEAUTIFUL! We also tried some of the home made beer: Kolsch, a German style Golden Ale, and a Full Flavoured Australian Dark Ale. We highly recommend this place. More info on the Smiling Samoyd can be found at…..
Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 2011, Parks of the Fleurieu Peninsula